How many pairs of cool sneakers do you own? Safe bet that YuMing Wu has more. He is, after all, the CMO of Sneaker Con, an event he founded eight years ago with partners Alan Vinogradov and Barris Vinogradov. Call it sneaker kismet but a happy eBay accident united the trio and they have made great tracks ever since. Their open-to-the-public con has grown to nearly 70,000 in attendance at 13 various domestic and international shows. This past weekend, the Los Angeles Sneaker Con debuted in its new home at the Anaheim Convention Center, offering sneaker authentication, a massive trading pit, on site customization and a You Tuber basketball face off. We caught up with Wu to get his insights on Sneaker Con’s contribution to the always hopping sneaker scene as well as the iconic shoe’s place in the apparel and accessories market.

 

Sneaker Con
© Jaay Cee
Sneaker Con

What brought the founders together and what backgrounds led you all to start Sneaker Con?
Alan, Barris and I met through our passion for sneakers. They were selling sneakers on eBay and I had just started sneakernews.com. We met though a linking error on SneakerNews.com to one of their eBay listings. Over our email exchanges we realized our offices were just three blocks from each other and, after meeting, it became clear:  a sneaker event focused around sneaker consumers was missing.

What is the allure of the sneaker over other footwear?

Sneakers are the most important tools to everyday life, especially to teens and young adults. They play a big role in the fashion of young and unlike general footwear, they serves this particular young group extremely well.

 

Sneaker Con
© Jaay Cee
Sneaker Con

What is the value of the sneaker con to the sneaker scene?

We add interest to the sneaker scene. We have become the world’s biggest sneaker store with over 50,000 sneaker related items available and a museum with some of the rarest sneakers in the world. 

 

How has the con grown and changed over the years?

The market for sneakers has grown quite a bit and, with our on-going programming, we are starting to see a bigger group of sneaker heads with a wide interest. For instance, up until about two years ago, the market concentrated around Air Jordans and Nike sneakers but today we see a huge interest in Adidas and the other top brands.

 

Sneaker Con
© Jaay Cee
Sneaker Con

Tell us a bit about your new partnership and global expansion.

We’ve concentrated on the domestic market for the past eight years but the sneaker market is global. Our first international show was in London this past May and we are heading to Hong Kong and Melbourne next. Our new partners are helping us understand how to do business in the global market. Sneaker Con will continue to add new cities domestically and internationally during the second half of 2017 and into 2018. Las Vegas, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Cologne are among the cities being considered and looked at.

 

Sneaker Con
© Jaay Cee
Sneaker Con

And, last but definitely not least, do you have a favorite sneaker of all time?

It used to be the Air Max 1 but it’s slowly becoming the Adidas Ultra Boost.




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